I had the pleasure of being involved in R.M. Archer’s blog tour and getting to read and review a short story of hers from the collection, Caithan. It was a great short story and definitely worth the read, and if the sound of Caithan piques your interest, check out the rest of the Volume 1 collection!
Caithan is tired of her mother’s strict traditionalism, but when she runs away from her own coming of age party, she runs into someone who teaches her to appreciate what she’s been giving.
Plot: As befits a short story, the plot was pretty simple. Caithan feels smothered by her mother and her insistence on traditions, so she runs away to a city where she can be anonymous and immerse herself in different cultures and traditions. Its here that she meets Rahim, a young street criminal, who teaches her some important things about traditions.
Theme: The theme is pretty obvious. It’s about traditions and how they have the power to be good or bad and how they shouldn’t be taken for granted. Occasionally, the theme was a bit overwhelming and there were spots I just wanted the story and the characters to be able to speak for themselves, but overall, I really liked the theme (it’s definitely and underused theme) and I thought it was executed pretty well.
Characters: Since it was a short story, there were only three characters who were properly introduced to us–Caithan, our main character, Meuma, her mother, and Rahim, the criminal she meets on the streets of Tramat. Miss Archer did a great job of fleshing these characters out in the space of the few thousand words she had to work with, so I finished reading with a good grasp on who they were and how the plot and theme impacted them.
Overall: This is a great little story. It has something important to say, especially in a day and age where traditionalism is often abandoned in favour of progress. I think the ultimate message of this story was that tradition and progress should walk hand in hand most of the time.
You can preorder the Short Story Collection Vol. 1 here!
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R.M. Archer has been an avid reader since she was a toddler and has always been a lover of story. Her first exploration of the other side of the page was a mystery at age seven, and though her preferred genre has changed, her interest in writing has not. She’s a homeschooled teenager living with her family in northern Virginia.